Mobile Apps

Top 5 Android Apps You Won't See in the Apple App Store

Will you sell your iPhone for an Android now?

I’ve openly professed my love for the iPhone but I haven’t really confessed that I do love Androids too. And before you let that “you traitor!” out of your mouth, let me just say that as a tech blogger, I have taken the liberty of trying out and loving all kinds of smartphones (which also translates to the fact that I use three smartphones because… I can).

And since I have been using Android for years as well as an iPhone, I know for a fact that these two actually share a lot of apps together. I have tried using Facebook on different platforms, I know how Gmail works for each phone, and I Tweet using different platforms as well. But while a lot of the major apps I use for productivity are both on my Android smartphone and iPhone, there are actually many applications on the Google Play store that aren’t on Apple’s App Store. Basically, most of them are apps that are exclusively developed by Google. There are also some apps like Google Maps and Google Voice that are on the Apple Store but are not as robust as the Android versions. Here are just some of the apps that you won’t be seeing on the App Store:

1.       Google Maps Navigation – For those who haven’t tried Google Navigation, you probably won’t think it matters that it’s not on the App Store. But for bad drivers and really forgetful commuters, this app is actually helpful and it’s available only for Android users. Basically, the app is like a Maps application, but the difference from other maps is that it keeps all your location navigation sets like an address book. Actually, it’s just an app that lets you search for navigation instructions easily, without having to open up Maps. It also allows you to save locations from Maps and pull up commonly used locations (in case you’re like Dory and you still need the directions).

2.       GBA.emu – Another great app that’s not available for the iPhone—which I’m pretty sure all Gameboy gamers out there would be sad to know—is Gameboid. It’s actually a Gameboy emulator that allows you to play your favorite Pokemon versions on your Android smartphone! Though there are many games on the App Store that look a lot like Gameboy games, they still don’t simulate the feeling of being a 9 year old nerd who loves these video games. Also, there’s a big chance it’s never going to happen for the iPhone because posting these kinds of apps is against Apple policies.

3.       Swype – Though Swype has been pulled out of the Google Play store and has become more of a functionality on Android devices than an app, it’s also worth noting that this is the coolest thing the Android has that iPhones don’t have. Swype is a functionality or feature that allows the user to swipe on their keyboards, connecting the letters to make a word thus minimizing the time you spend on taping away on your smartphone or tablet’s keyboard. This feature has been made available to Android, Symbian, Windows Phone and MeeGo.

4.       Viamici – Another good app that I’ve tried on my Android that isn’t on my iPhone is Viamici, which is a geo-referencing app. Basically, it helps you pinpoint your location on a graphic file map (as in maps that are in JPG and PNG formats)! If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.

5.       Beautiful Widgets – Lastly, one of the things that Android phones have that the iPhones lacks is widgets. Android users know that having widgets on your home screen isn’t just for customization or for making your screen look cool; it also makes your phone more functional and effective as a productivity tool. For one thing, it helps you check all the stuff you need to check without having to launch an app and wait for it to load! One of the great apps on Google Play for that purpose is Beautiful Widgets which gives you a ton of choices for customizing your home screen with widgets!

That’s about it! If you know any other Android apps that are not available for the iPhone, please feel free to comment in our Disqus section below. I’d love to hear about it!

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Twila Berkley is a smartphone enthusiast, a recycling activist and a self-confessed iPhone addict. She’s currently a resident blogger for and has written articles specializing in recycling and technology. Prior to writing on the web, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications, contributing as an editor and journalist for various entertainment and lifestyle newspapers in and around the state. She loves new gadgets, books, blogs and everything iPhone.